Ten excerpts from the Mike Huckabee profile

23 Jun

While we tread lightly upon politics ‘round these parts, the New Yorker profile of folksy Republican Mike Huckabee is worth a read. I’ve copied the ten most notable excerpts below. Tough guy to categorize.

When he was governor of Arkansas, Huckabee blocked Medicaid funding for an abortion that a retarded teenager wanted to have after she was raped by her stepfather.

At sixteen, Huckabee attended Explo ’72, a gathering, organized by the Campus Crusade for Christ, in which eighty thousand like-minded youths came to Dallas for “a Christian Woodstock”

(“Christian Woodstock” is possibly the funniest and most far-fetched oxymoron I have ever heard. I’m trying to think of something better and am drawing a blank. “Churchgoer orgy”? “Organic meth”? I got nothing.)

Huckabee found the reflexive piety of his community “very pharisaical in nature” when he was young. “People would say boys and girls shouldn’t go to R-rated movies, or they shouldn’t swim together,” he said. “I was the guy that always asked why. ‘Because we said so.’ Well, that’s not an answer! I don’t accept ‘Because we said so.’ That always made me really angry.” In high school, Huckabee was sent to the principal’s office for leading a group of students in protest against the Vietnam War. “I always questioned, even when it was inappropriate to question.” … “I did not want to be a sheep.”

“I also think that’s what caused people, particularly within the Republican establishment, to be so dismissive of me. Because I was never one to just pick up the company line and recite it. I hate that—I think it’s repulsive. And politics is becoming more and more where you’re handed this script and told, ‘Don’t improv.’ ”

Huckabee described his fund-raising philosophy as “Look, you know I’m running. You want to help me for the right reasons? Then help me. If there’s got to be a quid pro quo, then keep your money.”

In defiance of libertarian laissez-faire, Huckabee has extended his Christian vision to include the poor. “If there are a certain number of kids from single-parent homes who aren’t going to school and don’t have health care, you can say that’s not government’s job,” Huckabee told me. “Well, sweet and fine! But you know what? If the kid’s sitting outside the door of the hospital choking with asthma, do I sit there and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t think, philosophically, government should get involved’? I’d much rather the kid get help than I sit around and say I’m so pure in my ideology.”

According to Huckabee, a person who believes God created man has a world view that is “absolutely irreconcilable” with that of someone who believes man created God. And “either by numbers or persuasion, one side of this polarized culture will defeat the other in setting public policy.” This is the defining paradox of Huckabee: his adamant resistance to being branded a zealot paired with his insistence that faith defines character and, consequently, has an essential place in government.

As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee successfully championed laws that prevented gay people from becoming foster parents and banned gay adoptions. “Children are not puppies—this is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out how does this work,” Huckabee told a student journalist at the College of New Jersey in April. “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, ‘Well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them.’ ” These comments proved unpopular. On his Web site, Huckabee accused his interviewer of trying to “grossly distort” and “sensationalize my well known and hardly unusual views” about homosexuality. The student publication then posted the audiotape of the interview online. Huckabee had not been misquoted.

Huckabee doesn’t just want to leave things the way they are; he wants to change the Constitution to specifically prohibit gay people from getting married. He has called homosexuality “sinful and unnatural” and is fond of amusing audiences with the witticism “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

(Probably the most egregious misuse of the word “witticism” of all time.)

“I’ve always said, If you believe divorce is an option, you’ll take it.”

(So you can just will yourself to forget about the concept of divorce? I am almost impressed with the amount of self-delusion that would require. Also: I’d love for him to repeat this adage to a woman who just learned that her husband was screwing the babysitter.)

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One Response to “Ten excerpts from the Mike Huckabee profile”

  1. RandBall's Stu June 24, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    The thing I’ve always found interesting about Huckabee is that he seems to actually believe what he’s saying, even when it’s obviously bigoted or crazy or decent, rather than pandering to the GOP base like a Romney, McCain, etc. I give him a certain amount of respect for that, especially since that whole “helping the poor” thing kills any prospect he has of winning the GOP nomination.

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